Gratitude Friday: Teach the Children Well…

Pitcher

Several weeks ago, after my regular bible study meeting, my leader asked me to consider becoming a leader myself.

And the eye roll and grabbing of my pearls thing happened.  If I’d had a hankie in my purse, I would have fanned myself with it.

I am so Southern.

Bible study this year has been a delight.  I’ve never done a study on a New Testament book.  Much less one of the four gospels.  But, I think, if you’re gonna start with one, it should totally be John.  Heavens, he just loved Jesus.

I mean.

After I let go of my pearls, I agreed to pray about it.

A week or so later, the director of our bible study called me.  I was expecting the call.  Otherwise, I would have ignored it completely.  She caught me as I was pulling into the trail for a run.

After a brief introduction, she said, “Well, what I’m really in need of are children’s leaders.”

And I stopped her right there.

“Oh, friend.  You’ll think I’m a horrible person when I tell you this but I don’t like children.  Like.  At all.”

Thankfully, she laughed.  And like my leader, she asked me to pray about it.

Although, I didn’t need to.

I knew as soon as the words came out of her mouth God wanted me to say yes.

In case you’re wondering how I felt about that, well…

Nope, Nope, Nope!

I headed out on my run and did my best to turn God off.  I was listening to a podcast (Hello, S-Town peeps!) and basically ignoring God’s phone call.

Nope.  Dismiss.

Instead, I was doing a bunch of this…

“I’m absolutely not doing this.  Why would You ask me to do this?  You know me.  Kids are not my thing.  Infertiles are my thing.  Can’t I just have a bible study group of infertiles?  They are my people.  Children are other people’s people.”

God loves me.  Really.

Later that day, I was alone again.  And I knew I had to answer God’s call and listen.  I’d gotten my rant out of my system.  Mostly.  So this time, I took a deep breath, answered the call, and said, “Okay.  Do you really want me to do this?”

And He said, “Yes.  I want you to say yes.”

 

Fine.  FINE.

Listen, it’s not that I hate children.  I have two, for goodness sakes.  It’s just that…

….well…

….I can understand why some animals eat their young.

That’s all I’m saying.

I love my kids.  LOVE THEM.  But I am not and have never been a “kid person.”

As my kids get older, I realize this more and more.  Those years from birth to wiping their own bottoms?  NOT IT.   I am anxiously awaiting the day they can fix their own breakfast in the mornings so perhaps the adults could sleep in on a Saturday.

I mean, is 7:30 am too much ask for?

When I met with our director, I told her all of that.  I’m not interested in pretending here.  I respect her and the bible study and any relationships I have built or will build to be straightforward.

This week, I went to my first leaders’ meeting and I felt a whole lot like a fish out of water.  But I am all in.

Several things going on in this Ask from God and My Obedience.

First.  God asked.

Here’s the real truth:  I’m glad God asked me to DO again.

Since the year of the pruning and then Him asking me to lay down my writing last spring, it’s kinda been a while since He invited me to DO something.

Give up something?  A lot of things?  Yes.

Invited me to pick up something?  No.

I am finding myself incredibly grateful He asked.  Sure, it’s not what I would have picked but that’s okay.  He asked.  That’s enough.

Second, we never enter the uncomfortable alone.

The new leaders are paired up with experienced (how about my avoidance of the word “old” there?)  leaders.  Mine is lovely.  And it took us about three minutes to admit neither of us likes kids.

She said, “I have one child.  One purpose.”

It always amazes me how God calls us to the exact spot we would least like to be.  And once you get there, He’s already prepared those around you.

Sigh.

Sometimes, okay, almost always, I forget that.  God’s already prepared for you to do the good work He’s called you to and that includes the people around you.  He’s not sending you somewhere blind.  Or maybe He does but He gives you a support system to help you see.  Both to see Him and to see His hand in this weird uncomfortable bit.

Three, He met a need for provision in the asking.

For weeks, I have been dodging making a decision about my son’s preschool for next year.  We have so enjoyed where he is now but it’s just one class for ages 2 to 5.  He’s learned some but nothing like what he needs to know before starting kindergarten.  We need him in a more traditional classroom.

But it’s super expensive.

And our property taxes went up (over a hundred dollars) a month for next year.

We had talked ourselves silly over the decision.  My husband finally said, just pick a place and let’s do it.

Then this leader thing came up.

My son can attend with me, in his own class, two days a week.  One day, for the leader’s meeting, he’ll play and hang out.  The second day, though, he’ll be in a structured class and learn his own bible story, hymns and play time around the story.

In God’s asking and in my obedience, we found a spot for my son.  Three days a week in a preschool and two days a week in bible study.

We save money and he still has activities to do every day.

Now I can see why I was never fully ready to commit to a preschool.  Once I got the call to serve, the exact class we needed was open and ready for him.

I am grateful for all of it.  Being asked to DO again, my hand-selected mentor, the provision for both our financial needs and my son’s academic needs.  All of it.

Thank you, Lord.

What are you grateful for this week?  Has God invited you to anything lately?  Asked you to give something?

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